New bank offering for seniors
OCBC Bank offers a lifestyle programme for grown-up children to give financially to their parents.
OCBC Bank launched a programme for seniors called the OCBC SmartSenior Programme in October. This comprehensive programme offers banking solutions and privileges to meet the individual’s financial, self-enrichment and other lifestyle needs in the retirement phase of life. A key component of the programme is the SmartSenior account, which is designed around the Asian tradition of grown-up children giving financially to their parents as an act of filial piety. It allows the children to show their gratitude and appreciation. The account serves as a joint savings account between the working child and his parent to which regular direct funds transfer from OCBC Bank or any other third party bank accounts can be set up.
Said Nicholas Tan, head of Global Wealth Management, OCBC Bank, “The challenge we had as a team was developing a programme that can enable working children to continue with this Asian tradition by making it more convenient.”
Features of the programme
The programme also includes an eAlerts feature that provides working children and their parents the option of receiving notifications of transaction activities made on the account. For example, parents can choose to be notified via SMS when their children’s monthly contributions are credited into their accounts. Similarly, working children can be notified when there is an unusually large withdrawal from their parents’ SmartSenior account. According to OCBC Bank, this feature can act as a safeguard against the increasing trend of scams targeted at the elderly.
Another new feature is the debit card that is issued with each SmartSenior account. By end of the first quarter next year, seniors can choose to customise their cards with a picture of their loved ones or a family portrait on the faces of the card. These photo debit cards will be the first in the debit card industry in Singapore. Besides, with the SmartSenior debit cards, seniors will get to enjoy privileges that are aligned with their lifestyle patterns revolving around the areas of entertainment, travel and health.
The programme’s annual fee is $60, which is currently waived for sign-ups by 15 March 2010, and OCBC is offering a host of incentives to those who sign-up. For the first 6,000 customers, the bank is giving a year’s subscription of premium cable channels with SingTel’s mio TV worth over $1,200 at a discounted rate of $90 or $7.50 per month. There are also additional welcome vouchers worth over $500 for seniors to enjoy personal care, retail and dining privileges at over 1,000 outlets islandwide. Other rewards and privileges include FairPrice vouchers, health screening and vaccinations, and travel packages.
Other banks’ schemes and offerings
The other banks that are also reaching out to seniors include POSB, who launched its “Special Tuesdays” scheme in October last year where every Tuesdays, POSB will set up dedicated counters to serve seniors during the first three opening hours. Seniors are also served drinks and snacks as they wait to perform their banking transactions.
United Overseas Bank offers customers aged 55 years and above higher interest rates if they open a ‘Grand Senior Citizens’ fixed deposit account and Hong Leong Finance offers seniors its ‘Golden 55 Plus’ fixed deposit, which earns interest that can be credited monthly directly to customers’ linked Savings Accounts for easy access and flexibility to their cash. OCBC Bank currently has two products catered to seniors – the Esteem Time Deposit and Seniorate Account.
Added OCBC Bank’s Tan: “With the rapidly ageing population in Singapore, there is room for the introduction of various different types of products and services for senior customers. We believe that OCBC SmartSenior Programme with its unique value proposition has brought a new dimension to the range of offerings available in the market today.”
For more information on OCBC’s SmartSenior programme, go towww.ocbc.com/smartsenior.
(PHOTO CREDIT: OCBC Bank)